What is Dissertation Writing Help Services?
Structure of A Dissertation
Chapter 1: Introduction
In the introduction, you set up your dissertation’s topic, purpose, and relevance, and tell the reader what to expect in the rest of the dissertation. The introduction should:
- Establish your research topic, giving necessary background information to contextualize your work
- Discuss the state of existing research on the topic, showing your work’s relevance to a broader problem or debate
- Clearly state your research questions and objectives
- Give an overview of your dissertation’s structure
Chapter 2: Literature review / Theoretical framework
Before you start on your research, you should have conducted a literature review to gain a thorough understanding of the academic work that already exists on your topic.
In the dissertation literature review chapter or section, you shouldn’t just summarize existing studies, but develop a coherent structure and argument that leads to a clear basis or justification for your own research. For example, it might aim to show how your research:
- Addresses a gap in the literature
- Takes a new theoretical or methodological approach to the topic
- Proposes a solution to an unresolved problem
- Advances a theoretical debate
- Builds on and strengthens existing knowledge with new data
The literature review often becomes the basis for a theoretical framework, in which you define and analyze the key theories, concepts and models that frame your research. In this section you can answer descriptive research questions about the relationship between concepts or variables.
The methodology chapter or section describes how you conducted your research, allowing your reader to assess its validity. You should generally include:
- The overall approach and type of research (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, experimental, ethnographic)
- Your methods of collecting data (e.g. interviews, surveys, archives)
- Details of where, when, and with whom the research took place
- Your methods of analyzing data (e.g. statistical analysis, discourse analysis)
- Tools and materials you used (e.g. computer programs, lab equipment)
- A discussion of any obstacles you faced in conducting the research and how you overcame them
- An evaluation or justification of your methods
Next, you report the results of your research. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypotheses, or themes.
In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from the discussion, while in others the two are combined. In quantitative and experimental research, the results should be presented separately before you discuss their meaning:
- Concisely state each relevant result, including relevant descriptive statistics (e.g. means, standard deviations) and inferential statistics (e.g. test statistics, p-values).
- Briefly state how the result relates to the question or whether the hypothesis was supported.
- Include tables and figures if they help the reader understand your results.
- Report all results that are relevant to your research questions, including any that did not meet your expectations.
- Don’t include subjective interpretations or speculation.
The discussion is where you explore the meaning and implications of your results in relation to your research questions. Here you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit with the framework that you built in earlier chapters.
- Give your interpretations: what do the results mean?
- Explore the implications: why do the results matter?
- Acknowledge the limitations: what can’t the results tell us?
If any of the results were unexpected, offer explanations for why this might be. It’s a good idea to consider alternative interpretations of your data. The discussion should refer back to relevant sources to show how your results fit with existing knowledge.
The dissertation conclusion should concisely answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your central argument and emphasizing what your research has contributed.
You must include full details of all sources that you have cited in a reference list (sometimes also called a works cited list or bibliography).